News / Africa

    Amnesty Concerned About Upcoming Kenyan Election

    Supporters of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) run as riot police chase them in Nairobi, Kenya, December 31, 2007.
    Supporters of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) run as riot police chase them in Nairobi, Kenya, December 31, 2007.
    Amnesty International is raising concerns about the ability of Kenyan police to handle possible election-related violence as the country prepares for the March 4 polls.  The rights group says delays in reforms mean that many of the same police structures in place during the deadly 2008 post-election violence still exist.

    Amnesty International acknowledges that progress has been made in bringing the entire police force under one structural command, and the appointment of David Kimaiyo as Kenya's new inspector general of police.

    But according to the group’s country director, Justus Nyang’aya, police officers on the ground have not changed their attitude and the way they carry out their duties.

    “2007-2008 violence several people died, several people were displaced, it was actually managed by the system of the police that we are still having today," he said. "Nothing has changed in terms of attitude, nothing has changed in terms of training especially for the police to be able to manage the use of force.”

    Kenya’s last general elections in 2007 were marred by post-election violence - much of it between ethnic groups - in which more than 1,100 people were killed and more than 300,000 displaced from their homes.  Police were unable to stop the violence, prompting calls from leaders and the public for police reforms.

    A 34-page report from Amnesty documents continued human rights violations by the police, including arbitrary arrests, extra judicial killings and other abuses.

    The rights group says the security forces have also failed to protect the people of coastal Tana Delta region, where two rival communities recently attacked each other, killing 200 people and driving more than 100,000 from their homes.

    Presenting his presidential papers to the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission, Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on security forces not to take political sides during elections.

    Nyang’aya says that during the 2007 elections and the violence that followed, some of the police took sides and used excessive force against opposition supporters.

    “We want a professional police, we want a police that will be neutral," he said. "We want a police that will not take sides in looking the issues of election and supporting one side, as had happened 2007-2008, where there were opposition candidates the police in fact killed people in that area.”

    Earlier this week Odinga rejected police appointments made by President Mwai Kibaki, citing lack of consultation and constitutionality of the appointments.

    Amnesty International warns that failure of the police reforms may mean the March 4 polls may not be free of violence.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora